Being a professional athlete is filled with all sorts of perks.
One of them is the ability to give back.
Green Bay Packers tight end Tom Crabtree is using his name — not to mention his 30,000 Twitter followers — to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Crabtree is participating in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund’s Walk for a Cure on Saturday morning at the Brown County Fairgrounds.
Crabtree’s goal was to raise $5,000. As of early Friday afternoon, he had raised almost $12,000.
“My wife’s had it since she was 4 years old,” Crabtree said. “She’s had it for as long as she can remember. It’s definitely a daily struggle with needles and pricking the finger and she wears an insulin pump. There’s a lot that goes into it. It’s a constant thing throughout the day that you always have to stay on top of.””
This will be the Crabtree family’s first time participating in the walk.
“It’s a cool way for everybody to get together and hear other people’s stories that have been affected by Type 1 diabetes and hopefully raise a lot of money to go toward research for curing and treating people with Type 1 diabetes,” Crabtree said.
Crabtree’s “cleverly named” team is called Team Crabtree. A few members of the Packers will be participating, as well.
“The only person (on the team) with a personal connection to Type 1 diabetes that I’ve spoken to is Marshall Newhouse,” Crabtree said. “He told me this week that his mom has Type 1 diabetes. He said he’d love to help out and come to the walk and be a part of it. It’s cool to learn that some of your teammates have connections, as well.”
JDRF, with a goal of improving the lives of all people affected by Type 1 diabetes, is the largest charitable supporter of Type 1 diabetes research. Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.6 billion to diabetes research. According to JDRF.org, “more than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support” research and education, giving it a top ranking from the American Institute of Philanthropy.
“I’ve been excited this week leading up to the walk,” Crabtree said. “As far as football-related perks, this walk has been the most rewarding thing because I’ve seen a lot of people reach out to me on Twitter and share their story with me and I share our story back with them. On top of that, our team has done an awesome job of raising a bunch of money. It’ll be exciting to get everybody together and use it as a celebration and to share our stories face-to-face.”
For details on the walk, other ways to contribute, a video on Crabtree and his wife, Chelsea, by Green Bay’s NBC affiliate and much more, visit TCrabtree83.com.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.